(that means “Howdy” in Chinese, and you pronounce it Knee-How)
I'm Jeff Cappleman. And welcome to my-new-Chinese-love.com - your oriental oasis of the web where I can share with you all the juiciest tidbits about Chinese culture, language, food and my new Chinese girlfriend, Lisa.
I used to be just a regular, not-particularly-interested-in-anything-Asian guy. I worked a 9-5 job (which usually ended up more like 8-8). I ordered Papa John's pizza. And my Chinese food came in little white take-away boxes with plastic squeezy packets of soya sauce and yellowy eggroll goop.
(And once I even played hand puppets with Gillian
Anderson. She was fun!)
Then in 2003, I unexpectedly arrived in China. No preparation, no planning and not even a clue about what China is or how to speak Chinese.
I dodge chicken feet, feed hordes of breadcrumb-hungry goldfish and feel like that little green hero in Frogger each time I cross a street.
And now I dodge chicken feet, feed hordes of breadcrumb-hungry goldfish and feel like that little green hero in Frogger each time I cross a street. Best of all, I have a Chinese girlfriend. She makes it all worthwhile.
And did you guess that I still eat Papa John's pizza?
Or course you know that I still make all kinds of embarrassing mistakes as I discover more and more about Chinese culture. But do you know what else? I really love it here...(shhhhhhh, don't tell anyone!)
I don't claim to have the perfect relationship. I haven't reached that pinnacle of a perfectly perfect union. There are some difficult days when I wonder if I really will have a “new” Chinese love.
But then I realize that a relationship isn't something you measure by how long it lasts...just like someone doesn't measure the value of life by how many candles are on their cake.
It's about the journey, not the destination. And all the magic moments, the goofs, gaffes and the joy in between. And that's what I want to share with you.
Because really, isn't that what we're all here for? The thrill of the ride!
This site is for you. I used to be clueless about Chinese culture. And the travel books I read didn't really prepare me - they just increased my apprehension if anything.
Obviously I've learned a lot in a short time, and I want you to benefit from my experiences. I want to explain it in a way that's easy to understand and help you appreciate China and her culture, people, language and food.
The site is full of generalities about Chinese people, Chinese boyfriends and Chinese girlfriends. That's all they are though ...GENERALITIES. Take them with a grain of salt, don't believe a word I say unless you really want to.
Let's face it, there are 1.3 billion people in China. So no matter what generalization I make - there are people out there going against the grain. And not just a handful. LOADS! Even 1% of 1.3 billion is 13 million.
So even if I'm right 99% of the time, your Chinese lover could be one of those 13 million.
So as I talk about my own experiences, please remember that your mileage may vary!
To Lisa, my Chinese love. Her charms and graces inspired me from the other side of the planet. And she gets easier to appreciate more and more each day. If it weren't for Lisa, I still wouldn't know what "Wo ai ni a dao fa shao" means. Plus I still wouldn't know Beijing Duck from Howard the Duck. This entire site wouldn't exist if not for her.
Many thanks to Stephen, my friend from the Great White North. Each page of this site goes through Stephen before it hits your eyes. He doesn't just catch the speeling mistakes, he often adds facts, jokes, and new ideas for even more interesting and useful articles. Stephen rulez.
Thanks to everyone who appears in any videos/photos on the site.
Thanks to Dr. Ken Evoy and the good folks at SBI. Their easy-to-follow guidance inspires me to create a far, far superior experience for you. Also a thank-you to the fellow SBI'ers who share their wisdom, tips and advice in the SBI forums.
Thanks to my supportive friends and family, including but not limited to Vyara, Ding, Shaelina, Felcia, Lin, Sean, Rhett, Uncle Koolaid, Kris & Mark, Jim, Irene, Bryan, Rick, Miss (now Mrs.) Young, Jason, Sue, Lily, ZCM, Michael. Their constant, loving support is always appreciated.
And a thank you to each and every Chinese school listed on this site. Learning to speak Chinese is easier than you might think. And it will enrich your Chinese friendships and relationships beyond what you imagine.
We are fortunate to live in a place and time with easy, affordable access to Chinese lessons.
A special thank you to YueMei Yang of the Zhong Shan Chinese School!
Last but not least, let me extend my appreciation for Victoria and her family.
This site is dedicated to you and to your new Chinese love.